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The American Society of Anesthesiologists is an educational, research and scientific association of physicians organized to raise and maintain the standards of the medical practice of anesthesiology and improve the care of the patient.


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May 1, 2013 Volume 77, Number 5
Committee News: How to Meet Patient Safety CME Requirements for MOCA® David Martin, M.D., Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief Anesthesia Patient Safety Program Editorial Board

As ASA 2009 President Roger Litwiller, M.D. often said, “It’s all about the patient because we have no other reason to exist.” In 1999, the Institute of Medicine highlighted anesthesiology as a role model for recognizing system errors that lead to patient harm and improving patient safety. Maintenance of Certification in Anesthesia (MOCA®) was instituted by the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) in 2000. MOCA® is a 10-year process demonstrating ongoing educational, clinical and professional development. Two hundred-fifty hours of continuing medical education (CME) are required for recertification. In 2008, the ABA refined the CME requirement and mandated that 20 CME hours be devoted to patient safety, the highest of any medical specialty. Specific requirements may vary based upon when you entered the program. Members may refer to this website for more specific information:

ASA provides the best options for anesthesiologists to meet patient safety MOCA® requirements and to learn useful and relevant material at the same time. The heart of the ASA patient safety CME material “Fundamentals of Patient Safety” is a multimedia course including 10 hours of core basic patient safety concepts illustrating the material with anesthesia-specific examples. The course resides on ASA’s web-based learning platform, the Education Center, and can be accessed at

Case studies, quizzes and exercises provide ample opportunity to apply patient safety concepts to the practice of anesthesiology. In addition, a comprehensive collection of resources helps the anesthesiologist to promote safe patient care practices. The program is completely self-paced and designed for the convenience of busy practitioners who may have only 15 minutes at a given time to spare during the week or who may want to put in an hour at home on the weekend. The platform is an online multimedia, integrated product.

After completing the fundamentals course, you can fulfill your remaining 10 hours of electives through a variety of general and specialty anesthesia topics. Examples include “Patient Safety on the Labor and Delivery Unit,” “MRI Advisory,” “Infection Control,” and “Managing Clinical Risk,” to name a few. In fact, there are more than 30 hours of elective patient safety topics available, and new content is being continually added.

The editorial board introduced a new activity at last year’s annual meeting where specific sessions were certified as qualifying for MOCA® patient safety credit. Last year, eight sessions were offered, and the response by members was very positive. Plans are under way to expand these opportunities to earn patient safety CME at the annual meeting this year in San Francisco. Sessions that qualify for MOCA® patient safety credit can be identified in the program. If you are unable to attend the meeting this year, selected sessions will be recorded for incorporation on the Education Center, which you may access later for obtaining CME credit. The ASA Patient Safety Editorial Board is responsible for identifying, editing and approving all patient safety CME material on the Education Center website. The board is charged with ensuring that all requirements are met as set forth by the ACCME, the American Board of Medical Specialties and the ABA. Once material is published, the editorial board periodically reviews and updates the content.

The ASA Patient Safety Editorial Board consists of Jane Easdown, M.D., Markus Klass, M.D., Ph.D., Lorri Lee, M.D., David Martin, M.D., Ph.D., Bill O’Byrne, M.D., Richard Prielipp, M.D., and Butch Uejima, M.D. The editorial board works closely with ASA staff in an effort to provide ASA members with the highest-quality educational opportunities to maintain their role as leaders in patient safety and satisfy MOCA® requirements. If you have any suggestions for new content or improvements for our current selection, please contact us at

David P. Martin, M.D., Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Anesthesiology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

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